Natalie and Dan Slagle are founders of Fyooz Financial Planning, a financial planning firm that specializes in counseling couples.
What kind of money conversations should couples have before the wedding day?
Dan: One of the most important conversations concerns your education around money and how you view it. I think that’s going to paint a better picture of what the future looks like in terms of how they view finance as a couple. There may be financial trauma stemming from your upbringing, either because your parents split up due to finances, or because you don’t have a good understanding of the basics of personal finance because they never discussed money. Working through those things together is important.
Should all new couples merge their finances?
Natalie: No, but all new couples need to talk about it. We don’t have a rule about whether to keep things separate or together. If you decide to keep things separate, there still needs to be transparency.
Dan: Natalie and I sit down once a quarter to review our account balances and monthly cash flow and discuss short-term goals we want to achieve. We go to a local coffee shop or out to lunch to discuss these topics and follow it up with an activity like a bike ride. Keeping this meeting enjoyable will help you tackle money as a couple.
Should couples open a credit card together?
Natalie: For customers who want to have all of their spending transactions in one place, we recommend having a credit card in one member’s name with the other as an authorized user. The owner must be the spouse who is responsible for paying the card and/or has a better credit rating. Being an authorized user on a spouse’s card affects both partners’ credit scores, so if you’re trying to boost a partner’s score, making payments on time will help. But that requires a lot of trust because if one spouse goes into a lot of debt, it will affect the credit rating of both spouses.
Do all couples have to have a prenuptial agreement?
Natalie: It depends on your intentions when you decide to get married. There are no situations where a couple absolutely must have a prenuptial agreement, but there may be some situations where it is strongly recommended, such as when a couple’s family has wealth that will pass from an older generation to the younger generation and may affect that. generation finances. In that case, it might make sense to enter into a prenuptial agreement or some sort of trust so that if the couple divorces or dies, there are rules in place to determine how much of the family wealth will be transferred to the couple. another spouse.
How should couples planning a wedding budget split expenses?
Natalie: The first step is to understand where the funds will come from to pay for the wedding. Couples often delay talking with family about contributing to wedding costs, but that will affect how much you should budget. If you have never had this conversation in the past, you may feel intrusive or needy. But sometimes it can be as simple as a yes or no question and be respectful of any answer you get.